Thursday, May 30, 2013

henrys birth story- part 1- at least my nails were painted

i started writing this weeks ago, but every time i go to write more i either have a needy little baby wanting to eat or be changed and/or i cant stop crying remembering it all. it all seems kinda surreal, maybe almost even like a dream. 9 plus months leading up to the delivery of our son, it feels like it all happened in the blink of an eye... and just like that he is over a week old. what?! how is this possible?! im not going to downplay what i (we) went through of the past few weeks because there were some intense moments, but honestly i feel like the stork brought him to us.

i think we had some crazy thoughts about how hectic and chaotic labor and delivery was going to be, but (for the most part) everything flowed very smoothly. i feel blessed to have had such a great experience and the support from my nurses and incredible husband & family was unbelievable.

but before i get to the actual L&D part of henrys story, theres a bit more to talk about that i havent said much (if anything) about thus far...

at our 28 week appointment we had an ultrasound that showed slight enlargement of one of the babys kidneys. they werent too concerned with it, but of course it worried us (although if you google enlarge kidneys 28 week ultrasound it appears they tell this to everyone). they decided to track it but and at the next ultrasound found it looked a little better so we didnt have another check until 36 weeks. at that ultrasound they saw a much greater enlargement of both kidneys, the bladder, and dilation of both ureters leading from the kidneys to the bladder. we were set up to have a high risk ultrasound the following monday, and my doctor said if necessary she would induce me to get the baby out. so that monday came and ty and i headed out early, with our hospital bags packed just in case, and stopped at holy donut for breakfast. mmmmmm donuts (there should be no surprise why I gained 38lbs hehe). i had also painted my nails that am incase i had to be induced after the appointment.

the ultrasound itself was nothing really different than a regular one but you could see a lot more detail... she even showed us a full head of hair! she looked the baby all over and took tons of blood flow videos and measurements, then went to get the doctor. he came in and explained that the kidneys, bladder, and ureters were indeed enlarged/dilated but that it was most likely just kidney reflux, and in most cases would fix itself. baby would just need to have an ultrasound once delivered, and i wouldnt need to be induced (bummer, i was kinda ready to be done). he then said he wanted to take another look at the baby himself and started his own ultrasound, this time focusing only on the babys heart, not even looking at the kidneys. ty was sitting next to me and i looked at him and grabbed his hand and together we just watched the doctor look through all angles of the babys strong beating heart on the monitor. it seemed like hours before the doctor finished and cleaned my belly off. i sat up and he said something that no mother ever wants to hear about their child...

 "your baby has a hole in its heart."

for a moment the whole room went blurry. i stared straight at the doctor, i felt like i was frozen. tears immediately filled my eyes and the nurse handed me tissues. ty thankfully did all of the talking and asked what that meant. the doctor explained that all babies are born with two natural holes in their heart that close after birth in order to help bring oxygenated blood flow to their organs since their lungs dont work properly yet. those holes are in the upper part of the heart, this hole was a third hole, down in the ventricular wall. it wasnt supposed to be there. i waited for him to say "its no big deal, it most likely will fix on its own". instead he told us that we would need to go and meet with the pediatric cardiologist who would do another ultrasound. we were certainly not prepared to hear all of this, we came here to check on the kidneys! luckily we were able to get in to see the cardiologist within the next hour and a half (as opposed to a week which the doctor had mentioned it might take up to). i attempted to call my mom which just ended in me sobbing, i cried the whole way home and then took a shower, wishing this was all a bad dream.

when we got to the cardiologist we realized this was our reality as we watched the doctor ultrasound the babys heart and point out where the blood flow was, showing us the blood flow back and forth through a small hole between the left and right ventricle.

the doctors explanation to us about how the babys heart works

a "small muscular Ventricular (between the ventricles) Septal (wall) Defect (hole)

the DA and FO are there normally.
a VSD is not.

after explaining everything to us (a lot of which i cant recall, i was still in such a cloud) the doctor said "in 95% of these cases this hole will close up and be a non issue." i certainly heard that, and those words couldnt have sounded sweeter. i wanted to give this little irish man a hug! of course we were still worried but that gave us a huge sense of relief. he said they would do an echo once the baby was born and get more info at that time. we then went directly to my doctors office and she confirmed i didnt have to be induced, but it was at this appointment that it was noted that i was losing weight and my belly wasnt growing (my pregnancy had been so non complicated up until this point and it now seemed like everything was happening all at once....)

we were scheduled weekly ultrasounds til the end- the next to check the kidneys (week 38), the following to check my growth and babys weight (week 39). if anything looked alarming at either of those, i would be induced. i really just wanted this little one out so i could comfort it and take care of it. i felt so helpless, despite knowing i was its lifeline. overall the news we heard from the high risk ultrasound was the best of the worst so to speak, but we figured we might have a long road ahead of us...

...and to think, that morning all i was worried about was that my nails were painted.

"...dont you worry, dont you worry child... see heavens got a plan for you..."


  1. Oh man, I can only imagine what that is like hearing that on one of your last weeks - well, no, I can't even imagine, but holy crap. <3 Looking forward to reading more! xoxo

  2. OMG This made me all panicky. UGH. Not good stuff to hear at ALL!!! :-(
    Nice cliffhanger too. Gosh.

  3. Time will start to go by even faster. Mine are now 3 and 5 with Zeke starting Kindergarten next year. It feels like they were born just yesterday. I can imagine that being so scary to hear, I hope things are okay. Hugs to you and your little miracle.

  4. how nerve-wracking! hope everything with henry is okay. can't wait to read the rest!

  5. I can't imagine... Terrifying. A friend of mine had the exact same heart problem a year ago, I would have totally put you in touch! Her daughter just turned one, and is healthy as can be.

    Can't wait to hear the rest!

  6. Oh wow, how scary! I can only imagine how I would have reacted to hearing those words! I know there is good news at the end, so I can't wait to read part 2! Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  7. Oh my word! How scary! Not the birth story I was expecting to be reading right now. Hugs to you.

  8. Thank you for sharing this Danielle. I am sure it was hard to write. What you had to go through the final weeks is so horrible. <3

  9. oh man :( so sorry you are going through all this. I just want to reach through the computer and hug you. My thoughts are with you.

    Looking forward to the rest of Henry's story.